DEFINITION of 'Control'

1. The use of power to influence an outcome. For example, working control is the ability of a minority shareholder to influence corporate decision-making when there is no dominant majority shareholder.

2. A restriction used to prevent a specified activity. For example, some domestic governments use capital controls to limit the inflow and outflow of foreign capital to the country.

3. A standard of comparison against which changes in a test subject can be measured. For example, experimental controls are test subjects to whom nothing is done so that the results of an activity performed on another group can be accurately assessed.


Other types of controls you might come across in the financial world include but are not limited to accounting controls, which help a company to prepare honest and accurate financial statements; credit controls, which limit the amount of credit a company extends to less-than-ideal borrowers and quality control, a process that monitors whether a business' products or services are meeting expectations.